Biden’s Poll Numbers Get SOTU Bounce

2022 State of the Union Speech
2022 State of the Union Speech

NPR: “After what’s been a bleak several months politically for President Biden, a new NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist survey finds he is seeing a significant boost in his approval ratings across the board following his State of the Union address and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine…

  • Overall approval rating jumped to 47%, up 8 points from the NPR poll last month. Presidents don’t generally see much, if any bounce, out of a State of the Union address. Since 1978, there had only been six times when a president saw an approval rating improve 4 points or more following State of the Union addresses, according to the pollsters. Three of those bounces were for former President Bill Clinton.
  • Ukraine handling is up 18 points to 52%.
  • Coronavirus pandemic handling is now 55%, up 8 points.
  • Economic handling up 8 points to 45%.

What Happens After the SOTU?

The chamber of the House of Representatives is seen at the Capitol in Washington, Monday, Feb. 28, 2022, where President Joe Biden will deliver his State of the Union speech Tuesday night to a joint session of Congress and the nation. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Dan Pfeiffer
has what seems like a pretty savvy take on the upcoming State of the Union address:

“Biden will give an excellent speech that is well-received by the public and the pundits. The post-speech flash polls will be overwhelmingly favorable. There will be a renewed sense of momentum. Some reporters will even write stories about the President’s ‘comeback.’ And then, a week or so later, a new poll will not show a dramatic gain in the President’s approval. The same pundits touting the comeback will immediately pivot and declare the speech a failure.”

“Those folks will simply be revealing themselves to be ignorant of how modern politics works.”

“Presidential approval is a lagging indicator. The political goal of the speech is to strengthen a number of attributes and character traits that will serve as the foundation for winning back the voters Biden has lost in the last year. I will be watching to see if the speech improves public perception of Biden as a ‘strong leader’ and someone who ‘fights for people like me.’ Biden won in 2020 because the public overwhelmingly believed he had the experience and strength to handle the crisis Trump fumbled and, as the son of Scranton, would be an advocate for middle and working-class people. Those impressions have eroded amidst the neverending run of crises and the rise in inflation. This speech is an opportunity to begin the path back.”


A SOTU Preview

The president’s speechwriters will have started out to craft an important and thoughtful speech, determined to avoid having their boss deliver another really boring monologue that is both a laundry list of what the president wants to do and what he would do if the opposition party and special-interest groups rolled over and played dead for the rest of the year. But by the end of the process, despite the best of intentions, it will very likely sound like all of the others.

— Charlie Cook, in the National Journal.

More on the GOP SOTU Response: Tea Bagger Technology Went Askew Again, the White House Punked Rubio and Rubio Failed At De-Romneyfication for His Party

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On her show Wednesday night, Rachel Maddow dissected the Republicans’ response to Pres. Obama’s State of the Union speech and found that it was even worse than it first appeared:


Chris Matthews: Rubio’s SOTU Rebuttal Was Like ‘Something You Would Hear on a High School Debating Team’

Chris Matthews’ take on Florida GOP Sen. Marco Rubio’s rebuttal to the president’s State of the Union speech Tuesday night was solid gold:

CHRIS MATTHEWS: I thought it was Tinkertoys. I thought it was primitive, something you would hear on a high school debating team … First of all, he went after government as some kind evil, then he admitted he had gone to school on student loans. Well, I went to school on student loans. My dad went to school on the GI Bill. Most of us have benefited from good government. Government’s worked for us. I got in the Peace Corps, changed my life. I mean, I’m very pro-government. And he admitted he was, too. He said, I love Medicare because of how it takes care of my mother, how it took care of my father with dignity. He said, I went the student loan route. I got my education. Where was the consistency here? I didn’t get it. He was saying he was a product of solid government and positive programs, and then he just trashed the whole thing.

And then he played the victim game that everybody seems to play. What’s the Republicans victims? They’re paying one in six dollars now, we have about 15 percent of GDP going to revenues. We’re spending 25 percent, who is being over-taxed? I mean, what are they talking about?

It was almost like a YAF-er convention speech, Young Americans for Freedom speech, from the 1950s. There was no originality to it. It was basic. Again, it was Tinkertoys. It was a kid’s presentation of a philosophy reduced to maybe the 9th grade level. I’m sorry, that’s what it was.

Vietnam War Draft Dodger Who Befouled Himself to Avoid Military Service Will Be GOP Rep’s Guest for State of the Union Speech

Nugent showing his true colors
Seventies’ rock ‘n roll has-been Ted Nugent — a notorious Vietnam War draft dodger — will be the special guest of a Texas Republican congressman for the State of the Union speech tomorrow night:

“I am excited to have a patriot like Ted Nugent joining me in the House Chamber to hear from President Obama,” [Rep. Steve Stockman, R-Texas] said in a statement released Monday morning. “After the Address I’m sure Ted will have plenty to say.”

That’s assuming Nugent can hold his tongue during the speech. Either way, it won’t be the first time President Obama’s played to an ornery crowd.

Nugent and President Obama have some history, too.

In April, 2012, the Secret Service called Nugent in for a talking-to after he delivered some unnerving comments at an NRA convention in St. Louis, Mo.

“If Barack Obama becomes the president in November, again,” Nugent blared, “I will either be dead or in jail by this time next year.”

After meeting with Nugent a few days later, the Secret Service declared the situation “resolved.” And that may be so, but his self-imposed deadline has not yet passed.